March 11 – Russia criticized Meta Platforms’ (FB.O) decision to temporarily suspend a prohibition on incitement for violence against the Russian military and leadership on Friday, and an influential politician called for the blocking of Instagram in Russia.
According to internal documents seen by Reuters, Meta Platforms has temporarily altered its hate speech policy to allow users of Facebook and Instagram in some areas to urge violence against Russians and the Russian military in the context of the Ukraine incursion. continue reading
“Meta’s aggressive and criminal attitude of inciting hatred and animosity towards Russians is reprehensible,” the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement Friday.
“The company’s activities are simply another demonstration of the information war unleashed on our country without rules,” it stated.
A Meta representative said that the company had temporarily relaxed its standards on political speech, permitting remarks such as “death to the Russian invaders,” but not demands for violence against Russian residents.
According to internal emails seen by Reuters, it also temporarily permitted messages calling for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Alexander Khinshtein, chairman of the State Duma’s information policy and information technology committee, said the Duma would appeal the move to the Russian prosecutor general’s office and Investigative Committee. It was unclear what action those bodies were supposed to take.
“If this is true, then Instagram, like Facebook, should be restricted in Russia,” he stated.
Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram. Russia announced last week that it was banning Facebook in the nation in reaction to what it claimed were platform-wide limitations on access to Russian media.
“They should consider their use of these platforms. They encourage hatred and, more importantly, call for the assassination of Russian nationals “Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the Duma, stated this in a post on VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook.
During its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow refers to as a “special operation,” Moscow has also cracked down on technology businesses, including Twitter (TWTR.N), which has stated that it is blocked in the nation.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency Roskosmos, reportedly deleted his Facebook profile on Friday, according to news agency RIA Novosti.
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